WHO Warns That New Viral Pneumonia in China May Be Contagious

WHO Warns That New Viral Pneumonia in China May Be Contagious

On Jan. 13, Thailand's public health ministry said a female Chinese tourist has been diagnosed with the Wuhan pneumonia, in the first confirmed case outside Wuhan.

One of the 41 patients reported in the city could have been infected by her husband, Wuhan's health commission said in a statement on Wednesday.

The U.S. State Department warned Americans in China about an outbreak of pneumonia in the central city of Wuhan believed to be caused by a new strain of coronavirus, and which has killed one person.

Chinese officials are urging tourists to be extra cautious, especially if they are coming into the country for the Chinese New Year on January 25th.

Hong Kong medical experts have discovered the Wuhan pneumonia disease can be transmitted between humans after a woman was apparently infected by her husband.

Because the woman did not go to the wet market, she was either infected directly by her husband or by an item he brought home from the market, Cheung said.

Chuang and other Hong Kong health officials spoke to reporters Wednesday following a trip to Wuhan, where mainland Chinese authorities briefed them on the outbreak.

She echoed the assertion from Wuhan authorities that there remains no definitive evidence of human-to-human transmission.

The outbreak in Wuhan has raised the specter of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome.

The commission said that one man who had been diagnosed worked at Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which has been identified as the centre of the outbreak, but his wife had been diagnosed with the illness despite reporting "no history of exposure" at the market.

The centre, which comes under the Ministry of Health's Preventive Medicine Department, said it would work closely with the World Health Organisation and worldwide health organisations to monitor the development of the new strain of corona virus. However, Van Kerkhove said that anti-virals are being considered and could be "re-purposed" (Nebehay, Reuters, 1/14; Joseph, STAT News, 1/13; Larson, AFP/Science Alert, 1/13; AP/CBS News, 1/15).

Richard Brow, the agency's representative in Thailand, said anyone with a fever and cough who had spent time in Wuhan should get checked out by a health worker.

The Chinese outbreak appeared to be linked to a single seafood market in Wuhan and had not so far spread beyond there, the World Health Organization said.

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